New brands and identity follow Benchmark, Gemstone merger

Following the merger of Benchmark Hospitality International and Gemstone Hotels & Resorts, the collective company has launched an expanded organization and portfolio, new corporate identity, and four distinct brands.

The launch of the combined companies will now be known as "Benchmark," and will include more than 70 hotels, resorts and conference centers; 8,000 guestrooms; and 10,000 employees.

It will also offer four distinct brands:
1. Benchmark Resorts & Hotels, the company's existing portfolio of upscale hotels and resorts in the U.S. and the Caribbean.
2. The new Gemstone Collection, which will encompass both the properties of Benchmark's "Personal Luxury Resorts & Hotels" and Gemstone's "Gemstone Hotels & Resorts.” The Gemstone Collection name was chosen as it "speaks to something valued and uniquely individual like the incredible collection of independent luxury hotels and resorts the name represents," the company said.
3. Benchmark Conference Centers, formally introduced to the meetings market in 2014, but a part of Benchmark since inception, designates properties that are purpose-built conference centers and meeting venues. Each Benchmark Conference Center meets a rigorous set of criteria and conforms to the requirements of IACC, the association that represents the finest meeting venues and service globally.
4. OAG - Owner Advisory Group. Benchmark's OAG platform offers owners asset management expertise in maximizing an asset's value for optimized profitability and valuation.

Benchmark CEO Alex Cabañas said this on the new branding: “Our goal was to create an identity that reflects the global leadership, exceptional properties, and dynamic synergies and opportunities the merged company now brings to its owners, guests and employees.”

He added that "intensive market research clearly showed that the Benchmark identity should be retained as the parent company name. The brand’s strength lies in its focus on independent and soft brands and experience-driven destination travel, which are increasingly driving the market.

“To benchmark against something is a common practice and suggests a reference to the best—the high water mark in time," he said. "Both companies, Benchmark and Gemstone, throughout our histories have desired to be the best in what we do. It was most interesting through this process, that those of us most familiar with the word Benchmark rekindled our passion for the true meaning of the word. While the word is the same, how we use it in our branding and culture will be different and more powerful.”

Benchmark’s new logo consists of a triangle and globe, symbolic of Benchmark’s “triangle” concept of balancing Living, Learning and Leisure in both design and operations. It was originally created by Burt Cabañas at the company’s founding in 1980. The globe represents the company’s expanding global presence and expertise.